Tears Of A Clown.

Source: Rip Taylor website

I can’t remember when I first saw Rip Taylor. It was probably on The Hollywood Squares or Match Game or, well, if you look at his IMDB credits he popped up all over the place and was unmistakable. I’ve probably forgotten where I saw him because he just overwhelmed everything else.Regardless of the role he was always Rip Taylor, the big-haired, big-moustached, confetti-throwing character sometimes known as “the crying comedian”. For most performers pretending to break down and throw themselves on the mercy of the audience would just be pathetic, but Rip Taylor made it work with a combination of charm and energy. It didn’t matter that his persona was probably as fake as his hair or that his jokes were ridiculously silly. He just made me laugh, and it’s fitting that his roles ranged from children’s shows—including just voice work—and more adult entertainment. Even when I was too young to understand the jokes other comedians made on game shows, or, for that matter, the jokes he told, I understood that Rip Taylor was funny.

It also didn’t matter that he regularly stole or recycled old jokes. If anything that was part of the fun, and I don’t feel bad about frequently stealing one of his lines. Any time I tell a joke that doesn’t go over so well I say, “This is it, folks, I don’t dance!” And that always does get a laugh, and every one of those laughs go to Rip Taylor.

Hail and farewell.

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  1. Kristine Laco

    That is how I want to go out!
    RIP Rip. I think you must have planned that as your last comedic gift to the world.
    Kristine Laco recently posted…Awarded an Award to Award My Readers with More MeMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I saw that funeral clip decades ago and it’s what really fixed Rip Taylor in my mind even though I’d seen him in other things. It makes me sad to look back at it and realize all of the comedians in it are now gone. Rip Taylor was the last.

  2. Ann Koplow

    I loved Rip Taylor, that video, and this post, Chris.
    Ann Koplow recently posted…Day 2510: CompassionMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      There was only one Rip Taylor, in spite of my own occasional stealing of his jokes, and I’m glad you enjoyed that tribute to him too.


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